Numerous people around the globe need wastewater treatment to get rid of toxins and restore water supply. As important as this process may be, it is not exempt from issues. Of uttermost importance is operational efficiency, a factor that has spurred many innovations in the sector.
It is also one of the reasons wastewater management plants spend lots of money on repairs and replacements. Alongside this challenge are other equally mind-boggling problems, some of which we will highlight in this post.
Production of environmentally and economically sustainable treatment systems remains a mirage for many areas, especially those with scattered residences. The sludge that comes from wastewater treatment systems can be difficult to clean up, yet it contains volatile solids, carbon dioxide, methane, and active microbial masses among other toxic contents.
Some of the contents of sludge may be nutritious, but the excess production of the same may lead to excessive growth of plants, especially in the marine environment. This may lead to the death of some essential plants while algae and similar plants flourish.
The resulting environmental footprint needs a better solution, and that comes in the form of advanced technology. Modern solutions are capable of minimising the footprint. In the future, sludge management may even become 100% green and translate into a cleaner environment.
Energy consumption is another serious issue facing wastewater treatment systems in Australia and beyond the borders. Most of it goes into aeration, which can account for over 50% of an entire consumption in a plant.
Other consumers of energy in the system are wastewater pumping, anaerobic digestion, lighting and buildings, and clarifiers. Fortunately, the industry is developing new methods that are not only cleaner but also more energy efficient.
Some of the most popular are enhanced filtration process and biological membrane technology. Many savings could also be achieved by switching things off. Monitors and computers are the biggest culprits in this area.
Simply enable power management settings on the computers, and you could realise more than $50 savings per computer annually — other devices that you need to check to include drinking fountains, vending machines, and office printers.
The skill level of workers in a wastewater treatment plant can determine the effectiveness of operations and ultimately, the economic viability of the system.
To get it right on the job, employees need to have the right education and training, as they are responsible for issues related to plumbing, electrical faults, pipe malfunctions and so forth. The demand for such personnel will always be high.
One good and notable development in the industry is better technology and automation, which enhances the division of labour, thus reducing pressure on individuals.
Wastewater treatment systems face many challenges. Modern technology and management methods come in handy in enhancing efficiency, improving machine life, enhancing user control, among many other improvements.
Self-sufficiency of the treatment system remains the most desirable and elusive solution to date. For a more comprehensive list, get in touch with wastewater treatment experts in your area.